08 November, 2011

Summer Gold at Paradise and Roses

Turn away from Winter Chill, and gaze at Summer Gold, where the sun shines down and we battle with overexposed photos. The first hot summer breeze turns my mind to lowering the blinds.

Looking out the other livingroom window

I want the foliage to support the colour theme and provide texture and interest. Even flowers, regardless of whether the roses are game, or out for the count. I choose first, indigenous, adapted to hot summer, wet winter, clay soil.

Winter Chill, Summer Gold
wide views of Summer Gold

This bed was planted in September 2007200820092010Autumn flush in May 2011. Of the four beds, only here does the parasol play nicely.  Trimeria  has taught me another lesson. If you are choosing the plant for its perfectly round leaves, check first that the one you take home has read the instructions. The apple green has a touch of gold. 


Each bed should have one plant to provide weight and heft with large dramatic leaves, here Mandela’s Gold Strelitzia. And a grass to provide movement –  Mare's tails  (Mexican feather grass).   Striped Liriope from Japan, zebra grass from Eastern Asia.

Strelitzia Mandela's Gold
Mexican feather grass

Returning to South Africa I have Sansevieria. First the horizontal stripes. Then our neighbour Helen was ripping out – I’ll have them! – another variety with a wide cream border. Planted in drifts to give two dialects.


Going smaller. Plectranthus madagascariensis edged with ivory, a gentle fragrance, and grows like hell even from bits left as mulch, or sulks and dies in summer. But there is always a survivor to harvest the next tribe from.

Liriope, Plectranthus madagascariensis

Paradise and Roses. My favourite rose is this Casanova. I love the ‘new house’ name. The soft apricot blushed yellow. And of all my roses this one smells good enough to eat, fruity, apricots!


I wanted a striped rose in each bed. Tropical Sunset plays with yellows and oranges. 

Tropical Sunset, Courvoisier

And as I glance out the window, I see that the Dietes has burst into a riot of flowers today! Our wild iris, white with purple tongues and brown dots and a flash of yellow on the petals. That will be Wildflower Wednesday!

Pictures and words by Diana of  Elephant's Eye 
- wildlife gardening in Porterville, near Cape Town in South Africa
(If you mouse over brown text, it turns shriek pink. Those are my links.)


  1. Lovely! Your garden is looking gorgeous. Love the Casanova, Elizabeth of Glamis is a beautiful colour. Love the Mexican feather grass in the first pic - finally found some at Fairholme on Sunday. My Dietes are going crazy too. Wonderful.

  2. i had been thinking it was more like spring or summer here than autumn until I saw the 'light' in your images - that's summer! i can feel the heat. Christina

  3. Your garden is looking fab! So much colour. Love all your different areas. I hate big sweeping gardens where you see everything at once...much prefer separate spaces to explore.

  4. Love your striped Tropical Sunset! I must look that one up! Usually I see red striped roses - but this one is just in my color scheme! Funny how your trimeria didn't read the instructions! Maybe his leaves will get rounder in time. I love sansevieria. Such an easy houseplant here. I left mine out in a freeze and it died. I need to replace it. You do know it's common name - mother-in-laws tongue! I've always thought that was fun.

  5. Diana, you are a steward. Love your rose varieties wish we had them here. But we do have Sansevieria.

  6. Look at those roses...oh my so beautiful and the Sansevieria is a wonderful house plant here...I can feel the warm summer breezes I am missing..thx

  7. I love your garden design, especially the view out the living room window. (Sometimes I wonder if my gardens will ever 'grow up' like this??) That Casanova is just breathtaking, if there could be a favorite.

  8. You spent more time photographing your garden than I spent working in mine. I don't even want to ask how much time you spent tending your's. *hiding my head in shame*

  9. Holley - there is another species called Elephant's Toothpick. Imagine that leaf, but repackaged as a LARGE toothpick. On my list ;~)

    Shyrlene - sleep creep leap. It is amazing to look back 2 or 3 years and see how the garden has 'grownup'.

    Firefly - equally ashamed! First I blog, then I photograph for the blog, then oh yes I garden a little for the blog.

  10. Here I go again - having to admit that your roses are gorgeous! Do they have a perfume too?

  11. Garden Girl - most are scented. Some, like Tropical Sunset, snuck in because I wanted stripes!

  12. What most intrigued me about reading this was your use of 'mouse' as a verb ... 'to mouse over...' That is a new one on me and I'm going to share it with my class on Friday. We're just looking at new meanings for old words. You have employed grammatical shift, did you know? Oh, was I meant to say something about the flowers? Er .. very pretty. But I am to Nature what a pork chop is to a vegetarian.

  13. Fran - a shared love of the English language, is why I read you.

  14. Don't know why I was surprised to see summer photos but I had forgotten that while we lapse into winter your side of the world is getting warmer. You might see your photos as overexposed but I rather like that they show how bright and hot it is there.

  15. Lovely to see summer even if it is no longer in my own garden.
    I like your Casanova but then I do find any shade of apricot hard to resist in a Rose - it is a colour that seems to age gracefully.

  16. Gorgeous. Beatiful roses. My mom used to grow Elizabeth of Glamis years ago - I remember it well. And Germiston Gold I had once but it didtn survive. My poor roses are looking a bit ragged after a bit of windy, rainy weather.


Photographs and Copyright

Photographs are from Diana Studer or Jurg Studer.
My Canon PowerShot A490

If I use your images or information, it will be clearly acknowledged with either a link to the website, or details of the book. If you use my images or words, I expect you to acknowledge them in turn.

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